2013: Damn the torpedoes!

photo (10)If you don’t take chances, then how will you know? I was young, barely a teen when I resolved to live a life of no regrets. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution, just a new way of thinking about this little life o’mine.

Every day we make choices, the best ones we can. Day after day is filled with infinite decisions–we’ve got a lot of power in our hands. What each of us do with all that power adds up to these lives we are barreling through.

It’s silly to say “It’s been a long year,” because by the end it always has. This particular vintage has been exceptional in many ways, filled with an immense amount of love, adventure and opportunity. And challenges, which have stretched me this way and that.

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Plant bling, cuz the earth is hard.  

I want to thank all the people who walked into my life this year, the ones who were there at the beginning and the end, and even those who have passed through, for leaving an imprint on my soul. I want to thank the creatives, the analysts, and the critics. I want to thank the liars for challenging me to see past the smoke and mirrors, the fickle who changed direction with the wind and made me rededicate myself to my own course, the strange and beautiful and weird who inspired and delighted and reaffirmed that unique is not just a funny word but a mark of confidence. I want to thank the strong women and men whose courage and persistence propel everyone to an elevated state, and the vulnerable who demonstrate that pain and turmoil are real and human and part of the whole shebang, this life on earth we all share.

I found peace in Pittsburgh

I found peace in Pittsburgh

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…and love in Detroit

It’s not about resolutions. We make them, we break them. Mostly we forget or just abandon what was a whim or maybe we were just lying altogether when we made it in the first place.

So here’s my advice, which I don’t dispense frequently: CHOOSE. Be conscious and make conscious choices and don’t hold back; be kind and be ready and forget how to be uncertain and embrace every opportunity to live, experience, share, create and learn.

SEEK. Seek beauty, seek love, seek opportunity, seek challenges and learning experiences, seek to meet new people and make new friends and deepen your connections to the ones who are here now, seek meaning and seek purpose, but especially don’t look so hard that you miss what’s under your feet or in front of your face. Which leads me to my last directive: BE. Be present, be yourself, be the things in your heart that are yearning for release. Stifle nothing inside of you, embrace all desires, emotions and ideas. Try your hardest, dig your deepest, reach and reach and reach until you wrap your fingers around that dream of yours.

Often we find ourselves quantifying our desires: Ride more, write more; eat less, worry less. But it’s all relative, so just do the best you can, always. And don’t sell yourself short! If it’s scary, then it probably damned worthwhile and you better get to it before that fear sets it. Damn the torpedoes!

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Go on, don’t be scurred.

With many decisions yet to be made, and opportunities to be weighed, I cannot claim that I know the path ahead–and so, I will make this choice, to end this year and start the new one in a place of gratitude, because gratitude is a crazy powerful vibration.

photo (11)THANK YOUS:  Mom Ridaz, Bike Oven Crew, Dog Soccer, 642 Lefferts, Mikey Wally, July, Mel, David Siffert, Roadblock and Wolfpack, U-Lock Mob, Gato, Brad & Jeff at Urban Velo, The Writing DisorderDream Panther, Danger Junkies, VerBs, Jon Good and the Shivering Brigade, Zen Dog, Benny, Rosie, Eric Singer, Rob+Devin+Max at the Church of Knxwledge; Kyle Ferrarrr for mapmaking and subtler lessons, Bizzart, HELP LA, Los Angeles Bike Polo and the whole damn poloverse, Timbro, Timmie Lee, Andrea Elliot for writing the best thing I’ve read all year,  Margaret Gallagher; Mei, Sean Martin and Dorothy Wong (the races, the races!); Pittsburgh, the West Virginia panhandle for testing my mettle, DeathLA, and SUS York for always beckoning, Detroit, Salton Sea and Joshua Tree–because places deserve thanks too–and last, but hardly least, my No Manor family from the bottom of my heart to the end of the universe: Y’ALL DA BES’.

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